ASHEVILLE — Gov. McCrory has named April Beer Month in North Carolina, honoring an industry exploding faster than a shaken up can of beer.
Time Warner Cable News brings you a three-part series to pop open the state's brewing industry Much of the industry’s progress is through what they call craft beer, defined as small and independent.
Business reporter Andrew Sorensen hops right in with Part 1 of Crafting Carolina: a North Carolina beer tour.
When Asheville residents were asked to pick one word to describe their city, ‘Lively’ and ‘diverse’ came up.
“All kinds of beer! They're making really awesome beer here,” said Asheville resident Ceclia Taylor.
Oscar Wong is the man credited with sparking the region's craft brew revolution with Highland Brewing 20 years ago.
“It was by accident actually, that a friend of mine introduced me to an award winning brewer,” said Wong.
Although took them eight years to turn a profit, Wong is doing just fine now.
Charlotte-based Olde Mecklenburg Sales Director Ryan Self said they started as the only brewery in Charlotte. For them, being local has been huge.
“You know, we're our customers' neighbors. We live in Charlotte as well, we work in Charlotte, we make a product for Charlotte. There's a lot of pride that comes with that,” said Self.
Of the 80 or so breweries in the state, about a dozen popped up in the last two years, and another two dozen are on tap for the future. But smaller craft brews aren't the only fish in the pond.
Colorado-based Oskar Blues opened a second location in Brevard about a year ago.
“Part of it is there's a very happening craft beer culture here, part of it is that Dale Katechis, who is the sole owner, founder of Oskar Blues is a huge mountain biker,” said marketing director Anne Fitten Glenn.
Glenn said their owner's love of the outdoors also led them to great natural resources.
“Well it's very damp here, there's a lot of rain, but there's also very good water, it's a very neutral pH,” she said.
Glenn said as long as people make good beer, the market has no limit, and that's all quickly stacking up to an insane amount growth.
“In our first year of production, we shipping more than 10 million cans, that all of which say 'Brevard, North Carolina,' to 16 states up and down the East Coast,” Glenn said.
Tune in to Time Warner Cable News Saturday for part two of Crafting Carolina: a North Carolina Beer Tour to find out how it all started.